The Atlanta Hawks fell to 10-7 after a disappointing road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. Once again, a lack of outside shooting threw a wrench in the once-prolific offense.
Last year, Atlanta ranked second in offensive rating and three-point percentage. However, in July, the team made the shocking decision to trade their best outside shooter. Kevin Huerter was fresh off a career-high 38.9% three-point percentage when he experienced his "welcome to the NBA moment."
It was a move that a former Hawks reporter said: "Didn't come from the front office." For everyone paying attention, trading Huerter to the Sacramento Kings was clearly a cost-cutting measure to avoid the luxury tax.
This season, Huerter has taken his game to new heights. The 24-year-old has increased his production and efficiency, shooting 49.5% from deep. Tomorrow night, Atlanta welcomes Huerter back for the first time since the trade. This comes at the same time that HoopsHype reports Atlanta might be dumping more salary.
In a recent article by Michael Scotto, the NBA insider reports, "Rival NBA executives believe Atlanta will likely have to part with either forward John Collins, swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, or center Clint Capela to avoid looming luxury tax concerns next season." Scotto added that Bogdanovic is the most-available trade piece among the three players mentioned above.
This is unwelcome news for Hawks fans as the team has fallen short of expectations through the first month of the season. Moreover, Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler's actions have contradicted his statement about being unafraid of the luxury tax.
Ten NBA teams are projected to finish above the luxury tax threshold this year. The Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Denver Nuggets.
Atlanta can add another key piece before the trade deadline if they are willing to pay the luxury tax. However, it appears the ownership group wants to go in the opposite direction. Stay locked in AllHawks.com for news, highlights, and analysis.
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